0430450200 – Quo Vadis, Connector Industry?

MicroCrystal RV-8803 – A Really Accurate RTC June 17, 2019- RTC chips traditionally were the domain of Maxim and NXP. Switzerland-based MicroCrystal recently made quite a buzz with its RV-8803, which offers simple integration, an I2C interface and extreme accuracy. Let us start out by looking at a system overview. Figure one shows how this I2C RTC is made up internally – interested observers note […]
Analog Devices’ LTM2887 – If a Digital Bus Needs Galvanic Isolation June 15, 2019- In theory, digital buses are intended to connect things to one another. Sadly, one sometimes wants but a logical connection – in many cases, galvanic isolation helps out. Should you ever feel like isolating very fast buses, definitely give the LTM2887 a chance. From a technical point of view, Linear Technologies attempt at entering the […]
AVAGO APDS-9008 or APDS-9005-020 – Keeping an Eye on Ambient Light June 14, 2019- Recent times saw quite a bit of interest for part numbers such as the APDS-9008 or APDS-9005-020 – they are a very interesting type of ambient light sensor. One of the oldest questions in regards to light sensors involves their spectral sensitivity. If a part is to output but one voltage level, the conversion between […]
STMicroelectronics’ LIS2DH12 – Low Power Motion Sensing June 12, 2019- Apple’s iPhone introduced gyroscopic sensors to a wider range – before that, accelerometers were not commonly found in consumer hardware. STM sells excellent parts which, however, get little media attention – time to take a look at the LIS2DH12. Integrating the part into your circuit as an MPU6500 alternative or MPU9500 alternative is not difficult. […]
Panasonic AMG8833 – FLIR for cheap June 7, 2019- FLIR made infrared thermal sensors cool – sadly, their parts are all but cheap (and suffer from export control problems). Panasonic’s Grid-EYE family is a low-resolution alternative which comes at significantly lower cost. From a technical point of view, Panasonic’s image sensor could not be simpler. We are looking at an 8×8 sensor with an […]
DipTronics DTS-62R-V – Small Switch, Very Big (and Very Cheap) June 5, 2019- When yours truly was but a lowly cadet, various US manufacturers produced (pricey but quite reliable) switches. Chinese vendors recently started to catch up – seeing the DTS-62R-V top our customer interest list shows that the run stage of the crawl-walk-run cycle is reached. DipTronics has been around the Asian switch market for ages, exhibiting […]

Whilst boring to most electrical engineers, connectors manage to gain significant interest in our search queries…

Whilst boring to most electrical engineers, connectors manage to gain significant interest in our search queries. At the last Hannover Fair, connector manufacturers showed off an interesting developmental path.

Let us start out with the obvious; if something does not use extremely advanced technologies or difficult-to-clone software, it will get cloned in Asia eventually. Connectors such as Molex’s well-liked MicroFit series can, of course, be had somewhat cheaply when comparing distributors. The real profit, on the other hand, lays in sourcing products “elsewhere”.


The “pressure” felt by traditional vendors is best summed up in a recent shot by yours truly at Hannover Messe – Tianli had its booth literally metres away from trusty old connector-wiseguy Weidmüller.

What will change?

When faced with Chinese pressure, the safest response involves going into high technology and offering value-added services. A RIGOL spectrum analyzer might be able to give you similar performance in heterodyne sweep. Units like the Keysight MSA can play out their strengths by acting as an application platform solving technical problems without further human intervention.

The clearest demonstration of transition was shown at the booth of Phoenix Contacts; the company exhibited a wide variety of innovative plug designs, which aimed to reduce the time needed for the assembly of components. Some plugs even accept Litz wires without additional “wrapping” – the practice of tinning Litz wires is frowned upon in power electronics circles due to odd behaviors of the tin when high currents flow.

In addition to that, a drive towards technology is clearly visible. All vendors offer various SPS-like process computers which are intended to bind users to their connector and product portfolio. Weidmueller even went so far as to integrate a web-based programming environment into one of their systems; users can connect a phone or a notebook and code away without needing to install dedicated software.

Logistics, of course, also remains king. Weidmueller jumps onto the current sensor market by offering a series of sensing elements of their own – the idea behind this is that users who already have a relationship with the vendor will be less likely to buy another product for convenience reasons.